Bands set stage for fes­ti­val

Boy & Bear front­man Dave Hosk­ing per­forms at the sold-out 2017 North West Fes­ti­val last Satur­day night, which in­cluded stel­lar sets by Spi­der­bait and Vera Blue at the pic­turesque Civic Cen­tre Gar­dens.

North West Telegraph - - Front Page - Louise Alling­ham

Boy & Bear, Vera Blue and Spi­der­bait re­ceived a very warm wel­come from Port Hed­land crowds last Satur­day evening at North West Fes­ti­val.

The sold-out event at­tracted 1650 peo­ple of all ages to the Port Hed­land Civic Cen­tre Gar­dens and at­ten­dees en­joyed stel­lar sets by some of the coun­try’s best mu­si­cians in beau­ti­ful Pil­bara weather.

Pil­bara favourite Mikey Smith kicked off the mu­sic for the night with a re­laxed vibe and was joined by lo­cal mu­si­cian Greg Tay­lor.

The pair’s cov­ers and Pil­barath­emed tunes en­ticed some chil­dren to get ujp on the dance floor early. Next up was ethe­real folk singer Vera Blue, who has been mak­ing waves in the Aus­tralian mu­sic scene with her unique melodies and mes­meris­ing voice, which have cap­ti­vated au­di­ences.

Blue wowed the crowd as the sun went down.

While fam­i­lies and friends re­laxed on the grass, VIP ticket-hold­ers en­joyed a beau­ti­ful view of the fes­ti­val from the civic cen­tre bal­cony, which had been trans­formed into a swish VIP lounge, as well as food and drinks by lo­cal pop-up restau­ra­teurs Rezari.

Boy & Bear took to the stage next and per­formed fan-favourite songs, from when they de­buted back in 2009 to their most re­cent al­bum.

The crowd joined in on sev­eral singBoy

alongs dur­ing the band’s set, in­clud­ing a cover of Crowded House’s Fall At Your Feet.

Be­fore Spi­der­bait, the sky lit up with an im­pres­sive fire­works dis­play from the Spoil­bank.

The en­ergy was sky-high when Spi­der­bait hit the stage and didn’t come down through­out the 1990s sen­sa­tions’ set.

The rock­ers kept the crowd danc­ing and singing songs at the top of their lungs and gar­nered a huge re­sponse for their songs Buy Me A Pony and Ca­lypso.

Their show ended on a cli­mac­tic high with an ex­tended ver­sion of their smash-hit cover of Black Betty.

The next evening Port Hed­land Yacht Club was host to a more sub­dued and re­laxed mu­sic event, the North West Fes­ti­val Sun­day Sun­downer.

Pun­ters en­joyed a laid-back evening of mu­sic by Ukulele Jay, Miss Max, Tom Fisher and Eskimo Joe front­man Kav Te­mer­p­ley.

While the adults en­joyed the mu­sic, the chil­dren got to play on a bouncy cas­tle and par­tic­i­pate in arty ac­tiv­i­ties.

At the fes­ti­val on Satur­day night, Town of Port Hed­land Mayor Camilo Blanco said it was great to see such a big crowd at “the re­gion’s pre­miere mu­sic ex­pe­ri­ence”.

“One of the things that I have seen when I came into tonight was all the kids out the front danc­ing, so that was pretty im­pres­sive to see fam­i­lies com­ing to our event and it’s quite a big crowd,” he said.

BHP gen­eral man­ager of port op­er­a­tions Chris Dark said North West Fes­ti­val was the “best mu­sic event in he Pil­bara” and gets bet­ter and bet­ter each year.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic event, the crowd turnout tonight is sen­sa­tional and I think it’s cer­tainly ku­dos to the Town of Port Hed­land or­gan­is­ers to how well it’s been sup­ported,” Mr Dark said.

“Thank you to these (in­ter­na­tion­ally) renowned artists for turn­ing up, com­ing all the way to Port Hed­land to let the peo­ple of Port Hed­land get the same ex­pe­ri­ence you’d get in the cities around Aus­tralia.”

Pic­ture: Louise Alling­ham

Pic­tures: Louise Alling­ham

& Bear's cover of Fall At Your Feet was a crowd favourite.

En­ergy was high for Spi­der­bait's set.

Spi­der­bait drum­mer Kram.

Boy & Bear's Kil­lian Gavin.

Mikey Smith

Jo Smith, Kate Mullen and Ser­ena Maguire.

Vera Blue

Spi­der­bait singer and bassist Janet English.

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